NEW YORK, NY.- Sothebys
will present A Beautiful Life: Photographs from the Collection of Leland Hirsch in a dedicated auction on 10 April 2018, highlighting Sothebys spring sales of Photographs in New York. Assembled with passion over the course of nearly two decades by the godfather of haircolor, this photographs collection contains some of the most recognizable images of the 20th and 21st centuries, including works by Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Man Ray and Diane Arbus, among others. The collection will be on public view in Sotheby's York Avenue galleries beginning 4 April, alongside the seasonal presale exhibition of Photographs.
A pioneer in the creative and scientific development of beauty products, an authority on hair color, visionary thought-leader and industry innovator, Leland Hirsch has defined both his career and art collection by the search for what should be that is not. The exceptional collection he created reflects a unique and sophisticated vision that is sensitive to lifes beautiful contradictions, from Man Rays Surrealist Bras (Arm) (estimate $80/120,000) to Richard Avedons iconic Dovima with Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque dHiver, Paris, August 1955 (estimate $300/500,000) and Diane Arbuss disquieting Child with a Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C (estimate $70/100,000).
His affinity for glossy, editorial images such as Irving Penns Issey Miyake Design with Black Fan (estimate $15/25,000), Herb Ritts iconic Stephanie, Cindy, Christy, Tatjana, Naomi, Hollywood (estimate $50/70,000) and Steven Meisels Madonna Hitching (estimate $5/7,000) was developed after decades working with amazing photographers, models and beauty editors from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s such as Shirley Lord and Dorothy Schefer (Vogue), Felicia Milewicz (Mademoiselle and Glamour) and many others. As the beauty editors' "go-to" person for professional haircolor, Leland provided commentary and visual concepts for what was new. He has an innate ability to interpret new ideas for editorials, and photography, connecting the idea to the consumer.
Leland Hirsch commented: When looking at photography as a collector, there is a personal connection between you as the collector, and the photograph. I am drawn to vibrant, exciting images that tell a special story.
Born into a family of chemists, Leland has been surrounded by the beauty industry from an early age. In the 1960s and 1970s, he began his career as a haircolor developmental consultant for Redken Laboratories and Logics/Clairol. In 1972, he opened The Color Salon, the worlds largest haircolor department, at NuBest & Co. In the 1980s and 1990s, he revolutionized the haircolor industry with the development and introduction of Artec professional haircolor and color care products. It became one of the most successful professional beauty companies and was acquired by L'Oréal Paris. In 2000, Leland joined industry icons Vidal Sassoon and Paul Mitchell when he became the first haircolor specialist to receive the North American Hairstyling Lifetime Achievement Award from the Professional Beauty Association. Today, at his new company Celeb Luxury, Leland continues his search for what should be that is not, developing unique, innovative products.
Richard Avedons Dovima with Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque dHiver, Paris, August 1955 (estimate $300/500,000) is a monument in the history of fashion and advertising photography. Arguably no other fashion photograph of the 20th century is as widely-recognized and no other image illustrates as fully Richard Avedons profound gifts as a photographer. The brilliant juxtaposition of the classically elegant Dovima with the towering rough forms of the elephants is as revolutionary today as when it was first published by Harpers Bazaar in 1955. With this photograph, Avedon set a standard for inventiveness in fashion photography that has not been surpassed in the intervening years.
Herb Ritts Stephanie, Cindy, Christy, Tatjana, Naomi, Hollywood Estimate $50/70,000
Irving Penn Vogue Christmas Cover (New York) Estimate $60/90,000
Horst P. Horst Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel Estimate $6/9,000
Irving Penn Issey Miyake Design with Black Fan (New York) Estimate $15/25,000
Horst P. Horst Corset, Paris (Mainbocher Corset) Estimate $8/12,000
Although more commonly associated with sensuous or abstracted depictions of the female body, Man Ray made several photographs of male sitters in the early 1930s. In Bras (Arm) (estimate $80/120,000) the influence of Surrealism on Man Ray is clearly evident within this cleverly cropped and completely decontextualized composition.
The Hirsch collection includes some of the most recognizable and important photographs by Diane Arbus, the best of which demonstrate the photographers uncanny ability to interact and empathize with her sitters. In Child with a Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C. (estimate $70/100,000) Arbus has entered the complex and brilliant world of the child with a vengeance.
Diane Arbus A Jewish Giant at Home with His Parents in the Bronx, N.Y. Estimate $50/70,000
Diane Arbus Identical Twins, Roselle, N.J. Estimate $40/60,000
Peter Beard uses his photographs as a canvas to which he applies various mediums in order to create a narrative, always highlighting his concern for wildlife and environmental conservation. Shot in Kenya in 1987, Hog Ranch Front Lawn, Night Feeder (2:00 am) with Maureen Gallagher & Mbuno, Feb. 1987 (estimate $200/300,000) is evidence of Beards focus on subject and timing rather than equipment; he took this iconic image with a disposable camera.
As an artist and photographer, Robert Mapplethorpe was, above all, a master of beauty. His attention to detail, his gifts for lighting and composition, and his exacting craftsmanship transformed each object before his camera into an idealized symbol. His flower images, such as the vibrant dye-transfer print of Double Jack in the Pulpit (estimate $40/60,000) have become some of the most recognizable themes of his work.